Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hiring on at NepotiSoft

So how did I arrive at NepotiSoft?

One day I was out to lunch after church, and I saw an acquaintance from high school. Let's call this person Leslie. We talked for a minute, and when Leslie found out what I did for a living, Leslie told me that there may be a position opening at Leslie's company. I told Leslie I was interested, and gave out my number.

A few weeks later, I got a call requesting my resume. Days after that, I drove to my first interview (over lunch) with Leslie and the CEO (a sibling of Leslie). I was shown the offices, which were beautiful and were very impressive. They took me out to lunch and we discussed my skills. I was told to come back in a few days for a formal interview.

I remember uttering the words "I've never failed a project" at some point of my formal interview. Boy, would I eat those words. Other than that, I can't remember much, other than the bombshell that was laid on me: in order to accept the job, I was going to have to spend 6 weeks in Europe for training.

The incentives to accepting the jobs were as follows: $31/hour ($64,500/year), full paid health insurance, 3 weeks vacation/sick leave, my own office, project lead, and the possibility of revenue/profit sharing. I was already making the same amount at my other job, but the possibility of being in a bigger leadership role, working in a sexy part of town, making money due to profit sharing, having my own office, and working in a more exciting environment was just too much for me. I took the job. Within 2 weeks of me being employed at NepotiSoft, they tried to lessen my vacation time by a week. I took great offense to this, and brought it to the attention of the CEO and President. They sensed my extreme displeasure, and changed the employee policy so that every employee from that point forward would only get 2 weeks of vacation time; I would be grandfathered in at 3 weeks.

In full disclosure: my wife did not want me to take the job because of the 6 weeks in Europe. We fought about the decision for almost a month. But I put my foot down and decided it would be better for my career in the long run. She was both right and wrong (as was I). I had to leave NepotiSoft, and nothing amounted from that job. But I would not have gotten the job I have now had I not taken the job at NepotiSoft, and I am now in a very secure job making more money than ever.

An introduction to NepotiSoft

Since I have a huge interest in project management, and corporate environments, I should give some backstory about my bad experience. This post will just be a description of a company that I worked for about a year ago. My tenure there was exactly one year, and it will probably be the worst year of my working career. It's sad that I know so much about a company after one year, and that I have such a strong opinion. I know some programmers who were with this company for a few years, and I bet they'd have a lot more to contribute.

I won't use the real name of this company, as they are still in business (kind of). But we will call them NepotiSoft.

Why the name NepotiSoft? Because while this company will tell you that their main focus is software and IT-related products, their real focus is nepotism, and making sure that their family members reap any and all benefits before anyone else.

NepotiSoft had some beautiful offices when they hired me. Everyone had their own office, and they were located in a beautiful part of the city. We were around a lot off cool places in town, and it was a really exciting area.

When I hired on, the company consisted of: a CEO, a part time President, a CIO (who was also a developer), an HR person who was also the contract specialist/account, a marketing/sales person, a secretary, a full-time developer, a full-time tester/researcher/whatever you could find for this person to do (non-technical), and a full-time CSS/imaging guy.

During my tenure there, another 3 developers were hired (excluding myself), with 1 being fired and another being hired in his place. The CEO would also bring in the spouse on occasion to help with accounting stuff. I am assuming this was done so that they could give some more money to the CEO's family without it looking suspicious.

In my 1 year at NepotiSoft, we peaked at 13 full time employees. 4 of those were all family members. NepotiSoft is now working with 6 employees, with 4 of those being family members. They effectively fired all of their developers (excluding the CIO), which makes them a software company without an employee who is fully dedicated to software development (no split duties). We will get to an analysis of this in a later post.

The company like to publicly declare that they were a "Christian company." I have no idea what this means for a business(full disclosure, I am Christian). They liked to recognize everyone's birthday with a cake and a gift (usually a $25 gift card), and they would sing 'happy birthday' to people before cutting the cake (I always find this weird when done for someone over the age of 14 or so). They would always lead the cake cutting with a prayer (which I liked, but saw as potential to be very offensive). In the end, they would use this idea of them being a "Christian company" as a way to get employees to be nice to them when the company itself was being very unChristianly. It was a way to keep employees from being smart, and treating the company the way the company treated them.

That is a good enough description of the company so that later posts can be understood. The most important point is that the CEO, President, salesperson, and HR rep/accountant were all related, and are still employed despite the fact that they are a software development company without any true developers, despite the fact that the salesperson has never made a sale and that a 6 person company does not need a full time accountant/HR rep or secretary.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What to do...

What to say..... What to do....

My life rarely changes. Monday through Friday, I wake up early, get dressed, make my short commute to work, and I sit there for 8 and a half hours (going out to lunch about half of the time). Once my sentence is up, I go to the gym, come home, fix dinner, do whatever chores are due that day, and chit-chat with my wife.

After that, I just sit there until it's time to go to bed.

Yeah, I may sit and watch TV, or play around on the Internet, reading blogs, checking the news, looking at some new computer code or up-and-coming technology. Sometimes I'll play a little guitar. But the common thread is that I am sitting down with my brain almost completely turned off, performing only basic actions that require little to no thought.

This blog might be a way to keep my brain functioning during those mundane hours. Maybe I can get a little depth in my thinking, and provoke some thought in myself and others. So if you're bored too, sit back, have a drink, and let me know what you think about my life.